Shambhala Sun | March 2014
When I Enter the City of Joy
In war-torn Congo, EVE ENSLER learns what love can really
I do not know how
to end the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I don’t know where
governments end and corporations begin. I cannot show you exactly how the
mining of the coltan that is in your cellphone is linked to Jeanne being raped
in her village. I don’t know how to move the UN Security Council, or the
secretary-general, or the European, British, or Canadian Parliament, or
Congress or Downing Street or the White House. I have made impassioned visits
to all these places and have left each time, crushed and bewildered. I do not
know how to arrest the war criminals or the corporate exploiters.
I do know that the
minute I enter the City of Joy everything seems possible. It is green and
clean. It is the lotus rising from the mud. It is the metaphor for a new
beginning, for building a new world.
Three of the ten
principles governing the City of Joy are (a) tell the truth, (b) stop waiting
to be rescued, and (c) give away what you want the most.
In the City of Joy
I know how to do things: how to hug Telusia, Jeanne, and Prudence, and how to
remind them not to turn their gaze away because the shame they carry is not
their own. I know how to listen and how to keep asking questions.
I know how to cry
and that if I love the women of the Congo, and I don’t close off my heart, that
love will cut a path, a plan will be revealed, and I will find the money and
everything that is necessary. Because love does that.
From In the
Body of the World: A Memoir, by Eve Ensler. © 2013 Eve Ensler. Reprinted with permission of Random House Canada.